When I first heard that there was going to be another Miss Marple series, I rejoiced. After looking at pictures of Geraldine McEwan, I thought that she very much looked the part. Then came the announcement about the episodes. The first four would be "The Murder at the Vicarage," "A Murder is Announced," "4:50 From Paddington," and "The Body in the Library." Four of the best novels. Great. But then came word that they would be tweaking Miss Marple's character so that she had an affair with a married man in her past. No, this can't be true, I said! Just a rumor!
Sadly it was not. And the changes just don't work. There's even a lesbian twist in "The Body in the Library." McEwan tries her best, and I enjoyed her performance. The Marple of this series is very sprightly and energetic. McEwan's performance is fun and engaging. I give tremendous credit to this fine actrss.
Yes, it has fantastic production values. Yes, the score is lively and upbeat. Yes, the acting is terrific all around. But the bad writing and horrible changes can't save this show from drowning.
I love Geraldine McEwan, and I have no problems with her as Miss Marple. And yes, Joanna Lumley is inspired as Dolly Bantry. The scripts are well adapted, the acting is good, it should all come together nicely.
I'm afraid I just can't watch these without thinking how it doens't really match up to the standard, set still comparativly recently, by the most amazing Joan Hickson. If you're going to re-make Marple mysteries you either need to wait for the Hickson ones to be *so* old that no-one watches them any more, or even remembers them much, or you need to have something which is not just good, outstandingly and unmistakably better.
I never can figure out what it is with detectives: does trouble follow them, or vice versa?
Whatever it is, the great ones leave a mark on our collective memory not only because of their skills in matching fingerprints and figuring out who stands to get rich from wills, but because of their insights into what makes people tick. Geraldine McEwen is the sixth individual (in this show's overall history) to walk in the shoes of Miss Jane of literary legend, and she is a worthy addition to the class.
My favorite episode of the new series is still "A Murder is Announced," with its tale of a killing ripped from the headlines--the headlines of a country town not used to such horrors, that is--but it's a pleasure to see the show will be with us for a good time to come.
This programme is good and I think it is sometimes worth watching, but in my opinion, the Joan Hickson version on BBC2 was better. It might have been in technicolour, but it was much more realistic and Geraldine McEwan, in my opinion, has a very high standard to reach and she doesn't quite give the same effect as Joan Hickson. But some people might prefer this version, because at least it does feature some good features. It has bright colours and modern photography, not to mension the long list of famous actors who appear in verious episodes. So overall, it is good and can be interesting to watch, but I don't find it as good as the BBC2 version, featuring Joan Hickson. On the other hand, they show the Joan Hickson version very rarely on BBC2 nowadays. (P.S. This review refers to BBC2 in the UK.)
You have to feel for Geraldine McEwan, she had some big shoes to fill when stepping in to the role. Joan Hickson is the definitive Miss Marple, with a loyal fanbase even to this day.
While so far McEwan has "made" the recent adaptations of Christie's classic series, the rest of the new series is definitely lacking the fervor of it's predecessor.
The supporting cast hasn't been the best, actually they have been downright lackluster - with very few exceptions like that of Sir Derek Jacobi in The Murder at the Vicarage.
The writing is dull, and overall the show needs a major tweeking.
I still plan on giving this new version a proper chance, but I hope that in the near furture they make some major changes before they lose the fanbase and end up getting axed.
I was extremely happy when I learned that Miss Marple was getting a new show. More people are going to be able to see it, because many missed out on the magnificent Joan Hickson movies from the 80\'s.
The first season (The Body in the Library, The Murder at the Vicarage, 4:50 From Paddington, A Murder is Announced) has cream-of-the-crop acting, with amazing talents like Joanna Lumley, Ian Richardson, Tara Fitzgerald, Simon Callow, Derek Jacobi, Janet McTeer, Miriam Margolyes, Rachael Stirling, Stephen Tompkinson, John Hannah, Amanda Holden, Griff Rhys Jones, David Warner, Zoe Wanamaker, Sienna Guillory, Keeley Hawes and Frances Barber. The locations are lavish, the music is upbeat and fun. Scripting is a little faulty, but in most areas this can be over looked.
Bad points: the ending to \"The Body in the Library\" was changed. This is a pity, because other than that, this was a great episode.
Unless you feel like making a fuss about things, Miss Marple\'s relationship in the past (\"The Murder at the Vicarage\") can be overlooked. It\'s true that she must have had relationships, otherwise she wouldn\'t be her unshockable self.
\"4:50 From Paddington\" had a motive change, but this is probably one of the best.
\"A Murder is Announced\" has many characters cut, and a fair amount of the plot was changed, but this is an enjoyable episode none the less.
Hopefully, the next season will be good. ITV has confirmed that the next four movies will be \"Sleeping Murder\", \"The Moving Finger\", \"The Mirror Crack\'d From Side to Side\" and \"At Bertram\'s Hotel\".
The cast for \"Sleeping Murder\" contains such talents as Dawn French, Sophia Myles, Peter Serafinowicz, Geraldine Chaplin, Aidan McArdle, Anna-Louise Plowman, Sarah Parish, Una Stubbs, Russ Abbot, Martin Kemp, Joanna Lumley and Paul McGann. The UK TV Times announced that Emilia Fox, Thelma Barlow, Kelly Brook, Harry Enfield, Ken Russell and Jessica Stevenson will be in the next installment, \"The Moving Finger\". Stephanie Beacham and David Soul were rumored to be in \"The Mirror Crack\'d From Side to Side\".
Hopefully further seasons of Miss Marple will be as good (but with less plot changes) as the first.
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